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THE RISE OF THE UNIVERSITIES          145

that every teacher had to receive licence from the chancellor of
Notre Dame. At the end there was a closely knit and powerful
corporation in which all the faculties were represented, with the
rector of the arts masters the virtual, if not yet the legal, head. The
common opposition to the chancellor had welded the several
" universities " of masters into one, and had given the chief
position to the inferior (that is, preliminary) faculty of arts. To
understand how this had come about, it must be remembered that
it was the masters of arts who had to bear the brunt of the struggle.
It was they as the youngest group of masters who were most
affected by the oppressions of the chancellor, and who conse-
quently were forced to organize first. Following the example of
the Bolognese law students, they ranged themselves quite early in
four nations—the French, the Normans, the Picards (from the
Low Countries), and the English (including the Germans and the
other northern students). To the officers of these four nations
with their common rector fell the chief control of the arts faculty.
As the contest went on, the influence of the masters of arts steadily
increased, and the nations with their rector became the main
upholders of university privileges. Partly because the artists (as
they were called) were by far the most numerous section of the
masters and were therefore the largest contributors to the expenses
incurred in the constant litigation, partly because most of the
masters in the other faculties were also masters in the faculty of
arts and had a share in its affairs, their officers took a foremost
place in the joint deliberations of the faculties ; and their rector,
from being on a position of equality with the rectors of the other
masters' societies, came to be recognized as the head of the seven
" companies " (the four arts nations and the three higher faculties
of theology, medicine, and law) comprised in the university*

4. THE ORGANIZATION OF UNIVERSITY STUDIES

All the while the development of university government was
going on an equally distinctive organization of studies was taking
place. The starting-point in this organization was the institution
of degrees sometime about the beginning of the Thirteenth
Century. Before that time a student qualified for mastership in
much the same way as the apprentice became a master craftsman